The Saturn Ring Observer (SRO) study was requested by the Giant Planets Panel of the 2012 Planetary Science Decadal Survey (PSDS). The panel specified two study objectives:
-Investigate the method(s) by which a spacecraft might be placed in a tight circular orbit around Saturn, using chemical or nuclear-electric propulsion or aerocapture in Saturn's atmosphere. The critical issue is trajectory.
-Identify technological developments for the next decade that would enable such a mission in the post-2023 timeframe (after the next Saturnian equinox), with a particular focus on power and propulsion.